Rich Santucci | Hurricane

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World: Drumming World: Drumming Moods: Featuring Drums
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by Rich Santucci

Street Drumming pieces that I used to play on the streets of New Orleans for tips in the spring and summer of 05 up until the devastating Hurricane Katrina.
Genre: World: Drumming
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Category 5
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2:41 $0.99
2. Before the Levee Broke
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2:09 $0.99
3. Blue Orleans
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1:02 $0.99
4. Acoustic Turntables
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1:40 $0.99
5. Hotwire
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1:48 $0.99
6. Lootin Walgreens On St. Charles
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1:44 $0.99
7. No Electric or Running Water
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1:16 $0.99
8. Stuff Floating
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1:48 $0.99
Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.


Album Notes
In the spring of 05' I moved to New Orleans via "greyhound bus" with only my portable purecussion rims drumset which packed into 3 bags, along with some minimal clothing items, and $700 in my pocket. I had just left Denver, Colorado where I had spent the last 7 years in the jazz/jamband/hippie scene. I sold my Premier Cabria Bop Kit to a friend and bought a used PureCussion rims kit which I was able to muscle around with 2 handcarts and a backpack cymbal bag which also carried the toms. I wanted to see how much money I could make on the streets of New Orleans and at the same time shape my drum solo concepts into something melodic and listenable. I arrived in early May 05 and managed to find a hostel, Marquette House, on Carondolet and Jackson St. where I had a tiny space to put my equiptment, clothes, and cot. You could pay by the week or by the month or by the day as these options seemed workable in my situation. The whole idea was going to be temporary and I had envisioned playing in this way for six to eight months to make enough money to move to Philadelphia. My first night down in the French Quarter was exciting, I had set up on Bourbon St. outside the hurricane alley club. As I played through my drum pieces crowds of enthusiastic drunks threw ones and some fives in my suitcase tip jar and within one hour I had made $80! I thought this was fantastic, a few more hours of this and I'll make a decent this going to be this easy? Suddenly an irrate police officer on horseback made his way over to me and screamed for me to get the hell off Bourbon St.. As I tried to explain myself he cut me off continually, and reiterated to me that you can play on Canal St., Royal St. and some of the less busy corners but not on Bourbon as it interferes with the entertainment there and takes money from those businesses and stops the flow of foot traffic that they are trying to keep moving. So I ended up routinely playing on Canal St. at Royal St. just outside the Marriott Hotel. I soon learned that the $80 that I made in one hour on Bourbon St. would now take 4 to 5 hours to make at basically every other nook of the city. This is when reality kicked in and needless to say it was a long hot, daily grind that I pursued 4 days a week. (busboyed 2 days a week at Gumbo Shop on St. Peters) By august the local musicians were starting to take notice and started offering me club gigs, and inviting me to jam sessions etc. I had just landed a 2 day a week gig at Turtle Bay on Decateur St. with a wonderful older guitarist named Warren Baptiste of the legendary family that bred generations of super musicians. Warren booked me the second night on August 29th 2005, and as we showed up, the bassist never showed and fled the state in fear of some hurricane coming to town. We played duo went home and the following morning changed everything...Hurricane Katrina had arrived. The topography was built in a way that our hostel had minimal flooding just like a foot of water but there were heavily flooded areas just a block or 2 away in every direction. I stayed to try and help rebuild the town but then the levees gave way it just got worse and worse. Already no electric, we now had no running water, no food, and we had to loot the Walgreens on St. Charles for water and food which was like canned sausages, jarred pickles and artchoke hearts, cupcakes,chips and other junk. It took 2 phone conversations with my crying mother to know I had to get the hell out of there as all she saw was a sea of roof tops from the pervasive CNN images. I grabbed my drums, a few clothing items and headed down to the convention center where there were choppers flying people out of the city to various shelters in BatonRouge and other neighboring parishes. Well when I arrived the choppers were done flying for the night and those at the convention center would have to wait until the next day. It was surreal how we all looked dirty,worn, and hungary but we could see the production crew filming Geraldo Rivera about 50 yards from us as he looked clean,crisp, and just doing his regular news reporting over the disaster. It was clear no one from his crew was capable of assisting any of us. What I failed to mention earlier was that when I arrived outside the convention center you could smell death, as there were many bodys close by covered and waiting to be dignified. It was quite an eery contrast while still being able to see the spotlight on Geraldo Rivera looking extremely concerned and forlorn but obviously having no way to help us. Suddenly, out of no where a civilian driving a stolen public bus pulls up as his mother and he were trying to flee. After the police halted him,shook him down, and scalded him I recall one officer looking at him and looking at the rest of us and uttering, "can you get these people out of here?"There it was we all piled into this bus as this hero civilian drove tirelessly to get us out of town. When we got to Baton Rouge we were met with a police roadblock as the Baton Rouge Police would not let us in and pointed their rifles at our bus and demanded we turn around and go back to New Orleans or go somewhere else. We were dumbfounded at this point, it turns out that many residents of New Orleans were running around looting,robbing others, and it was a state of lawlessness. The hero busdriver kept driving all night crossing one bridge after another and his exhaustion was now apparent as the bus was now swaying and swerving but he made it to a truckstop. I grabbed my stuff and got off the bus as I knew it was getting dangerous to stay riding aboard this bus. I stayed at truckstop for hours until a Greyhound bus pulls up who took me to Alexandria La. I hooked up with a fellow rider, we were able to get a free motel room for 2 days and I was able to reach my dad who wired me a plane ticket out of a small airport in Alexandria, La. It was a straight flight to Philadelphia I was saved. How did I get so lucky? So many others were not. Hope you enjoy these tracks...I recorded these one month later. Listening back reminds me of all the crazy encounters and mysteries of New Orleans.


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